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Unicorn InsideSales.com Leverages AI

Posted on Friday, Oct 11th 2019

According to a recent Market Research Future report, the global sales performance management market is estimated to grow at 16.6% CAGR to $9.34 billion by the year 2023. The growth is attributed to the increasing demand to build a metrics-driven sales tool and the need for driving channel effectiveness across industries. Utah-based InsideSales.com is a leading player in the market which is leveraging AI capabilities to deliver on these expectations.

InsideSales.com’s Financials

InsideSales.com was not initially set up to cater to the sales organization. Instead, it was set up as an outsourced web application development firm to build HR, inventory, and accounting systems. Given the growing market demand for a web-based sales management solution, the company pivoted itself to offer data visualization, predictive analytics and gamification tools dedicated to the sales performance management market.

Since being set up in 2004, InsideSales has been privately held. It does not disclose its financials. A few years ago, I had met with co-founder Dave, when he had mentioned that revenues for the company have doubled steadily since 2004. It boasts of over 1,100 customers and more than 120 billion interactions. Its customers include names like American Express, Cisco, Apttus, and Groupon, to name a few.

InsideSales has raised $251.2 million in funding from investments from QuestMark Partners, Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, Salesforce Ventures, HWVP, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Microsoft, Polaris Partners, US Venture Partners, Zetta Venture Partners, Acadia Woods Partners, and EPIC Ventures. In January 2017, it had raised $50 million from Polaris Partners, Microsoft and Ireland Strategic Investment Fund at a valuation of $1.5 billion.  

InsideSales.com’s AI Focus

InsideSales has been expanding its market presence by delivering AI-focused products. Earlier this year, it released a Revenue Acceleration Cloud, that includes a Real Intelligence platform, core services, and a set of solutions targeted to accelerate customer revenue. Real Intelligence integrates AI algorithms and CRM data from solutions such as Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP, along with human experience data to help revenue teams build closeable pipeline and retain and expand the business.

InsideSales realized that CRM augmented with AI does not necessarily help deal with customer lifecycle challenges, such as prioritization of accounts and leads. It believes that traditional tools do not have the data needed to address these concerns.

But the Revenue Acceleration Cloud, powered by Real Intelligence, leverages the data insights and engagement capabilities to deliver on the required objectives. It captures proprietary collective human experience data in real-time between buyers and sellers and is able to look at over six trillion data points across 10 billion interactions to deliver meaningful pipeline generation options.

Late last year, the company had also released a new AI-powered Account Management solution targeted at helping businesses grow by maximizing customer lifetime value. The solution focused on helping account managers support more customers, conduct informed and timely communication to improve customer satisfaction, inspire better product reviews, and unlock more referral opportunities. It allowed sales teams to connect with more customers using data insights available on customer interactions, increase the chances of account expansion and renewal by prioritizing renewal engagements, increasing the number of customers each account manager supported by automating account discovery and prioritizing activities, and improve customer relationships and account visibility by staying connected to the decision-makers in each account.

InsideSales has been pushing adoption into the enterprise segment. Its AI-focused offerings will help it continue to drive that objective. Last year, these efforts already saw it deliver strong growth in the segment. Its flagship Playbooks solution saw 152% growth in revenues and 287% growth in sales user interactions among the largest enterprise companies.

It is also looking at expanding its leadership capabilities to drive growth, and probably help it list. Recently, it announced the addition of several key leadership positions. It added a new Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Customer Officer, Vice President of Operations & Go-to-Market Strategy and Vice President of Analytics & Execution. Additionally, it also appointed John Markovich as its new CFO. Prior to joining InsideSales John was the CFO for OmniGuide Holdings. He was also responsible for the IPO of Tickets.com. The leadership changes may suggest that InsideSales is getting serious about a listing.

Sales performance management has several small and big vendors vying for a place. There are several smaller players in the market as well including names like Outreach, SalesLoft, and Velocify that also offer cloud-based solutions to drive sales engagement and sales performance. InsideSales is counting on its AI tools and partnerships to help make bigger inroads into the market. It has entered into several partnerships with the likes of Microsoft and SAP that are helping it showcase its capabilities and sell its products.

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